Should I give up?

So I’ve been doing Competitive Programming for roughly year now and I don’t feel like I’ve made any progress. Back in July last year I couldn’t solve a single problem in a contest and had rating of 1000 on CodeForces. I peaked at 1820 on CodeForces in April, dropped to 1550 in the last contest and today got back to 1610. I was at this rating back in January. I practice solving 2100-2200 problems. Sometimes I solve them, other times I don’t, but in the last 10 contests I couldn’t get rank better than top 1000 on CF (whereas I used to have top 500, top 300 ranks many times before). I couldn’t solve 4 problems in contest in a very long time, though I did it a couple of times before. I had another account on CodeForces before, but decided to start fresh because of dropping 250 rating in 3 contests. I really feel like I’m not improving and like I’m not gifted. :frowning: I’ve dedicated 3-8 hours every single day to becoming better and solving hard problems, but the improvement isn’t there. Is it time to quit and get another hobby?

BTW: Just so we’re on the same page, I started doing this with the purpose of entering some good college, so I need to qualify for the IOI to at least have some chance. But judging by my current progress and only single attempt left before college applications, I don’t think it’s happening.

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I am not in a position to suggest you something, but trust me, you are already doing great than 95℅ of the college grads and you wilk surely achieve really high in college. All the best buddy.

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I’m an average programmer myself, and I’m planning to learn competitive programming. I just created this account today, but seeing this makes me feel anxious. Please don’t give up!

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https://codeforces.com/profile/aryan12

https://www.codechef.com/users/aryan12

July 2020 to Jan 2021 for some motivation (both the cases).

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I personally think dedicating 3-8 hours a day is where your problem lies. Solving problems daily with a routine in my mind tires your brain which in turn reflects in your contests. Also if you keep following such a routine very soon you might even start hating CP. And believe me, enjoying CP is best thing you can get out of CP. I’d advice you to chill out. There should be days where you are thinking about a problem all day and there should also be days where you just chill out and don’t do anything. And lastly never forget the law of diminishing returns.

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I’ve always been skeptical about giving myself a break, as that would result in less problems, implying lower rating, implying not qualifying for the IOI. I do think it could have to do with this though, as I got worse after taking a break for 1-1.5 months, so I didn’t just randomly become much worse.

Thanks to all for your tips. I’m back to solving problems on CodeForces already, but I’ll make sure to take a break these days. Y’all gave me motivation again, especially @aryan12.

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One thing I have noticed is that in cp rating increase is not linear, it is always step wise.Which is because of the way contests difficulty are structured and also the number of people you need to beat increases exponentially as the rating range gets higher.So if your rating is stagnant it doesn’t mean you are not improving, it is just not visible in ratings right now.

But you can feel that improvement by yourself when practicing and that is what you should focus on.If you personally feel that you are not improving than you should think about stuff like this.Rating increase is not the best measure for growth.

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Everything is true but

imo it should be the quality of people you need to beat increases exponentially as the rating range gets higher

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Yeah you are correct. :sneezing_face:

it’s 9 months i have been doing cp and i have also not any progress , i have rating 1201 on codeforces even lesser then specielist :sob:

I guess its time now, @nichke you can quit competitive programming, these people are just faking in the name of optimism but you are indeed wasting your time.

not in any position to suggest you because I am at a much lower rating but in general if you desperately try something instead of enjoying it will give you BT eventually so brother in my opinion whenever you feel like you are exhausted take a little break not long like 1-2 days solve easier problem to get back your confidence and then try again try to focus on your weak areas good luck brother

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Just to let you all know, I just did CF Edu round. I struggled to solve A and B, so I moved to D after 1 hour, solved it in 15 minutes and spent the rest of the contest on E. Finished fixing my mistake 15 minutes after the contest ended, but I was able to figure out both D and E on my own, though rating is going down to 1400 :stuck_out_tongue: Improvement is definitely there as I never imagined I’d be able to solve problems A-E, besides that I didn’t solve A-C but did D-E lol. Thanks for the support, not giving up! :slight_smile:

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Dude, just an year an already a five star? Whats the prob man? Take it as a sport, not as life-death battle. Cheers up buddy! :slight_smile:

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